If you've accepted an invitation to your first conference, you might be a little nervous. Meeting new people and learning new things is always a good idea, but in this type of a setting, you might find that you aren't as confident about your social and networking skills as you hope. Since you want to do the right things at the conference, use this guide to help you not get as much as you can out of the event, and feel confident when speaking with others.
Be Aware of the Latest News in Your Industry
Pay attention to the national news headlines, and watch social media for any newsworthy information, or even tidbits about your industry. This information may come in handy when you speak with people higher up on the rung than you.
You never know where your next big break is going to come from. If you're as up-to-date on your industry as you can be, those senior executives you meet while on break in the conference room will remember you down the line.
When speaking to these people, don't bring up the latest news unless they do. For example, if something great happened in your industry, and an executive mentions it to you while pouring a cup of coffee, you'll be able to engage in a conversation about it, without appearing shocked or lost.
Attend as Many Sessions As Possible
It is so easy to fall victim to all the distractions that the conference facility has, or the hotel has. You'll wake up in the morning and want to order room service at the hotel, or visit the pool. However, know that there are times built in to the schedule for you to take part in this relaxation and recreation.
When you receive your conference schedule, look it over carefully and sign up for as many sessions as you think you can handle. The goal is to network and learn new things pertaining to your industry that you can put into practice in your career. So, sign up for as many sessions as you can, without overloading yourself with too much information.
Even though this is your first conference, you may still know who the brightest minds are in your industry. There may also be those that you have never heard of before speaking at the conference. So, choose a good mix of sessions to attend, so that you can get the most out of them.
Enjoy the conference and everything that it offers. When you do, you'll come to love the conference facilities and may even gain knowledge that you had no information about before, and you'll meet people whom you'll likely run into again on your way to the top.